McKay's Shadow

McKay's Shadow.jpg

Cody Lukas Anderson

McKay's Shadow

Since moving to Scotland this past summer, I have gained a deep appreciation for the history of the Scottish landscape; gaining an understanding for how integral a role the past has played in forming the Scotland we see today. I have come to perceive and value the dynamic relationship between absent and present beings in the landscape, seeing the cyclical nature of life, as one is replaced by another throughout history.

This entry reflects this, having a profound effect on my practice as an artist. It is a product of a journey I took up to the Strathnaver, to visit the ruins of my ancestors, the McKay Clan; removed from their land during the Highland clearances resulting in my family’s relocation to Canada. Standing in the Highland landscape, romanticize as it is for its serene barren expression, I couldn’t help but see the manifestations of the past in the wildlife that now grazed the land, who’s presence came at the cost of the McKay Clan’s absence.

This photograph captures my shadow, as the first of my family to return since the clearances, being cast on the ruins that remain at the site of my ancestors.